A guest article written by the Rev. Robert Weinkauf:
My son’s visitation at Concordia – Seward.
My son is a high school junior. Just got back from Concordia University, Seward, NE. They held another program for prospective students and their parents. I had never been there.
I was impressed. The faculty I met was first rate. The president was very gracious. The facilities are top notch. Very impressive. The learning environment and students formation appears to be a blessing for any student to attend. Their career placement rate is significant over any university or similar small colleges I’ve looked into. This is a treasure for our Lutheran church and I will encourage my son and other youth in our congregation to visit and considering attending.
Except. The chapel service. A wonderful Methodist service. The Lord’s Table, the Altar where our Lord’s gifts are given, even symbolic of Jesus Himself, looked push back out of the way, behind stage items of the drum set and the prominence of a bass guitarist. The band on stage played 2 songs. Very loud. Of course the songs like most every song of the CoWo genre could be sung by a Muslim, Mormon, Jew, or Mystic and no one would be offended. The guy in the front who preached (might have been a pastor) gave an almost Christ-less message. A little gospel sprinkled in among 10 minutes of Law and story. There was some story about his family, got some laughs, but not sure what this had to do with Jesus. Opening song, sermon, prayers, closing song, go back to classes. Did I mention the music was very loud. You couldn’t hear anyone singing next to you.
And a noticed something incredible. I look around to about 70 students nearby (among 600 there), who no doubt were reading the words on the screen, and no one, not one person I could see was singing. Amazing! I look to the rear and along the back wall of the auditorium with a few students, some faculty, the president, staff members- no one is singing! But no one can tell because the music is so loud.
This is not about style or preference, but the nature of the service. It was Methodist. For example the first (loud) song mentioned “Christ” once each verse in a prepositional phrase, mentions “you” about 50 times in shallow repetitive lines; you are the subject of all the verbs in the song. The Altar of our Lord is treated like insignificant furniture. The band is most central and prominent. It was a performance. Nothing by nature was Lutheran. Lutheran worship has distinctions. According to our Lutheran Confessions, it was unLutheran worship.
Apparently Tuesday, Thursday, Friday morning and Wednesday nights have these Methodist worship services. Lutherans students please avoid these. I was relieved to hear they have Tuesday and Thursday evening liturgy from LSB. Monday and Wednesday chapel have worship from LSB.
I know it would be a blessing for my son to attend there, and if so, he concurs, he won’t be going to the Methodist worship services held at Concordia Seward.
Rev. Robert Weinkauf